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Bristol Palin Wants Poor Girls to Know That They Shouldn't Have Sex Like She Did Because They're Poor

Bristol-palin Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin, former Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2008, and public face of wealthy teen motherhood, wants you to know something: 

It's okay for girls with money and famous mothers to have baby's outside of wedlock, but if you're poor and unknown, you had better think twice, or "pause before you play", as she terms it in a recent PSA.

In the following public service announcement for The Candies Foundation, Bristol Palin's script reads:

What if I didn't come from a famous family? What if I didn't have all their support? What if I didn't have all these opportunities? Believe me, it wouldn't be pretty. Pause before you play.

Good thing she's famous, then.

  1. Well-dressed Bristol with perfect hair in a well-furnished room holding a laughing Tripp
  2. Flashes of press from her mother's presidential campaign
  3. Well-dress Bristol in a well-furnished room without Tripp
  4. Flashes of family fun times overlaid with the sound of a laughing Tripp
  5. Close-up on Bristol's face, now with messier hair and suddenly chapped lips
  6. Flashes of Bristol on a length of red carpet, getting her makeup done, and wearing a graduation hat
  7. Close-up of Bristol's messy-haired, chapped-lipped face pulled out to reveal Tripp and her standing apart from each other in a colourless, nearly empty room in an attempt to look abandoned, depressing, and probably kind of cold

The rampant assumptions about those who are financially less well off — disheveled appearance, less connected relationships with extended family, the poverty of even basic affection for their children, and, strangely, a bent toward minimalist design — aggravate the crap out of me.

There is a not-expressly-stated but none-too-subtle finger-wagging going on here to tell poorer girls that they should exercise a higher level of morality than their wealthier counterparts. Bristol Palin's teen sex and pregnancy and motherhood are more okay, because her family's wealth and fame can support the wages of her sin, but you low income girls? You had better think long and hard about it, you had better "pause before you play", because, apparently, being poor also means being alone and unsupported. 

According to this PSA, money and celebrity do make love and social bonding possible. How sweet.

It sounds like Bristol's heart is in the right place, but her mind certainly isn't, and this PSA does nothing to look at the real complications that lie behind poverty and teen motherhood. Rather, it furthers the lie that poverty equals a lacking moral fibre.

Fie on that, I say!

. . . . .
Schmutzie thinks that poor, slutty teens should rise up and make their voices heard.

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Ohhhh FAIL. And the worst part is? It could have been better. (Surely she didn't write it, though; the blame for that can go elsewhere.)

The idea that money is the only thing that can see you through? Just...fail.

Kim S.

This is gross. Pure and simple. Horribly horribly done. I can't believe someone didn't stop them!

I seriously don't even know where to begin. How about the "my baby is my burden" slant she's taken ever since she's been pushed out in front of the cameras? Poor kid. I wonder how he'll feel as an eleven-year-old burden. Or the "thank goodness we can afford nannies" slant that equates having money with raising kids well.

I have to stop here because I'm going to lose my lunch. I wish the Palins would move abroad. This is just another gross example of Sarah Palin cashing in on her kids. She should be ashamed.

Miss Grace

I....I truly lack the words.


Yup, that was atrocious. I mean, obviously everyone gets it - she has it WAY easier than the typical teenage mom - but this was presented in a disgusting way. Sheesh.

Debbie, i obsess

Let's mostly remember that the privileged girls get to decide whether to have sex at all. They can afford whatever repercussion, whether it be producing a child or finding a high-end surgeon to induce abortion, keeping the whole business under wraps in the first place. The poverty-level girls HAVE to have the baby, because they don't have the option to abort (gracias a Bristol's mom's ilk who have rid the country of any physicians who practice abortion and *nearly* rid the nation of the right to do so). (Of course, it's arguable that, even if there's a law on the books that says women have the right to flush things from their Own Private Uteri, if no one can find a practicing doc to aid them in their cause, the right has ceased to be.)

So we're back to the dark ages with regards to classism and sex-having.

Yeah. Bristol and her stupid mom suck.


Ike thought the PSA was _hilarious_ and wants to watch it again and again. So if nothing else, it has entertainment value for toddlers. Way to go Bristol!

Debbie, i obsess

Also, obviously, poverty-level moms don't hold their babies. Their arms are stuck to their filthy Hanes v-neck t-shirts by all of the gummy, sticky film left over from the weeks of wearing the same filthy garment, preventing them from cherishing their children.

Implied by video: poor moms are programmed, possibly genetically, to love their kids less. *tsk-tsk*



Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah


Fawn Amber

Good Lord....just no.

chatty cricket

I say this as a Republican: Are the Palins over yet?


How about now? Are they over now?


Poor people with babies pawn everything. Hence the minimalistic decor. I can't believe you didn't know that! Palin and Palin raise my blood pressure. I wish they would just go far far away.


Well, I didn't have babies in my teens (and I was married), but I'm still poor. God! What a burden! *eyeroll*

I don't think the blame lies with Bristol though. I don't think she wrote it. If she did, then OK, but maybe the PSA company (Candies?) is trying to... yeah, can't even come up with some kind of justification/devil's advocate stance on that one. I've seen lots of wealthy teen girls go to the poor house when they went and had kids... And I've seen lots of poor families support (to the point of enabling) their teen daughters who've gotten preggo.

This was a poor representation of the consequences of teen pregnancy. Shame on them!



Angel Smith

As a former teen mom, just ugh.

ALL people who have sex need to pause before they play, not just teens, not just low income, etc. We ALL need to take control of our reproductive responsibilities.

And yeah, I'm also highly irritated by the implication that lower income young single moms aren't bonded with their children.


Oh. My. GOD. What... who... WHAT?!?

nic @mybottlesup

uhhhh....... it's not often that i am left without words.


Oh gosh, that was bad. Although I *think* I see where the ad campaign is coming from and where they're trying to go; they're trying to deglamorize teen pregnancy. It could be that Bristol is concerned about making teen pregnancy look easy. It is, relatively speaking, easier for her. She has well off parents. She has child care when she needs it. She has money. But a lot of average teens--not just poor teens--don't.

And make no mistake, some teen girls really do think getting pregnant and having a baby will be "fun" or "cute". It is kind of horrific to hear a 16 year old talk about how she wishes she could have a baby because it looks "fun".

So I think---possibly---that Bristol and this ad campaign thought they should make the point that just because it looks easy for some wealthy teen moms, it's not easy. Hence the depressing contrast there. They could have done it differently. Way differently. And they should have. But honestly, a teenage mom is not the spokesperson you want for a teen abstinence campaign, end of story.


I would imagine that perhaps it's being too easy on wittle Bristol to say that she probably didn't write it. First of all, if's she's old enough to broker these kinds of deals, she's old enough to read a freakin' a script and say, "Um. That seems kind of insulting and stuff." And if not, she should be old enough to pass that script on to some of the cadre of spin doctors her mother knows to see what they have to say about it. I can also imagine that perhaps it was supposed to go a little differently and she got all defensive and wanted to make it look like her kid has the perfect life.

Sarah P

I have never liked her PSAs. "Even though I had sex and I had a choice, I had money. So it's OK for me. But not for you. Don't do it."


Awful. IF they are going to use Bristol Palin in this type of PSA, maybe they should have focused on the fact that being a teen mom is hard - even if you have family support and money. There are still challenges and sacrifices no matter how much monetary support you have. But this still makes her look glam and like it's totally okay because of her money.


Good grief.

Also, "pause before you play"? Pause and do what? Get a sandwich? Check your email? Oh, maybe to get a condom? Perhaps you could be more specific, condesending PSA.

Miss Britt

There are so many things wrong with this PSA. I can't even begin... good thing you made a list!


I mean, I agree that this is awful and gag-inducing, but I'm sure it wasn't Bristol's idea, nor was she the writer. Probably someone thought, "ooh, look at this famous girl, who would make an excellent spokesperson!" and they wrote it up, called her, and shot it.

Now, maybe she should have said "no." But you can't really lay the whole of it on her.


Why can't we hold Bristol responsible for the PSA? "Maybe" she should have said no? You think? She is IN the announcement; she read the script. Why shouldn't I hold her responsible for the sloppy offense of the message, even IF she didn't write it. It's not as if she's being FORCED into this PSA. She chose to do it. The whole poor-Bristol thing makes me almost as angry as the PSA itself. The problem as I see it lies more in the idea that Bristol Palin might actually believe the nonsense she's spewing in the spot, that if a teenager is gonna get pregnant, by golly, she better be rich and well-supported. Gah.


McMama, I am fully aware that other people wrote those words and edited that video, and I'm not crazy about the Candies Foundation's part in it, either, but, and I mean BUT, Bristol Palin took on the job of filming that PSA knowing what it was going to be. She may not have written the original the script, but she said yes portraying herself and to taking those words as her own. This video, in effect, is Bristol Palin speaking to us.

That said, I am not laying the whole of it on Palin in this article. I am speaking about the video itself, and the fault of that lies with both her AND the Candies Foundation.


I call bullshit fucking shenanigans.

So, only rich people should have babies?
Or poor people should only have babies when they get older?
Or only wealthy underage teens should have sex?
Or poor people don't know how to accessorize?


WOW, what a foundation. Last year they gave out a whole $25,000 to Mt Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

But wait! They spent almost $2 dollars on an EVENT.

Since President and Founder of the company only made $11 MILLION from Candie's companies that year, clearly they are doing all they can.


OK, make that $2 million dollars on the event. I get all fired up.


Does anyone even care what a spoiled, rich kid with poor taste in boys and a family (and handlers) to clean up after your mess has to say? I think it would've been a much more effective ad if she had given the baby up for adoption and THEN talked about how kids should pause before they play because it was a difficult decision to make, but being a teen mom would be even tougher (and offer the stats to go with it - there are tons of them out there). That would've been worthy of a standing ovation, imo.

Suzy Q

You know what? She has a point. The point may not be hers entirely, but there it is. It is a REALITY that poor teen moms fair badly much of the time. There is a heckuva lot more support these days (such as in-school daycare centers, etc) than in the olden days of 5 or 10 or 20 years ago, but still. Who is supporting the babies of these financially-strapped, unprepared moms? A lot of the time, it's you and me, with our tax dollars. So, if teenagers pause before they play, that's OK by me.

Another Sarah

However, Suzy, that's NOT the message of the ad (although the message you suggest is pretty offensive and factually suspect, but whatever). The last scene of the video shows her, in a BARE room (cause poor people have nothing and/or sold whatever they had), with messy hair and chapped lips, her baby standing away from her...implicating, what? Take your pick. Drug addiction, bad hair, bad hygiene, lack of attachment, on and on and on...because someone without her "resources" doesn't present a pretty picture? If someone doesn't see what's wrong with this I got nothing.

Jen Wilson

That is the ugliest baby I have ever seen. Am I allowed to say that?

Also, I was a teen mom. and OH MY WORD WHERE IS MY RED CARPET? WTF?!?! I guess I should have paused before I played.

Now whose idea was this commercial. I have some ass to kick.


She makes "16 and Pregnant" look like Dateline. At least the show presents unflinchingly what teen motherhood looks like.


Please make the Palin's go far away.
Their brand of reality just makes me want to puke all over them


I love this PSA. I'm going to watch it every day so that we'll stop having babies, as having babies is making us poor and have fewer nice things in our house and on our walls.


Wow the apple doesn't fall far from the foot-in-mouth tree. Horrible.

Honoria Glossup

Tomorrow I am going to start a foundation with the goal of distributing Chapstick* to poor, potentially promiscuous teen girls. If they're pausing, why not attend to some grooming in that time.

*I use Burt's Bees, myself, but I am not poor.


Simply AWFUL!

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